The UST Female Tennisters succumb to the NU Bulldogs, 3-1, in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 women's tennis finals at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Saturday, April 6. (Photo by Josh Nikkolai S. Bravo / The Varsitarian)

THE UST Female Tennisters fell short against the defending champions NU Lady Bulldogs, 3-1, in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 women’s tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Court on Saturday, April 6.

The championship will be determined in the do-or-die match tomorrow, April 7, at 7:30 a.m.

Kaye Emana, who was named Rookie of the Year, made quick work of Angela Cabaral, 6-0, 6-1, to draw first blood for UST.

However, UST’s duo of Miles Vitaliano and Debbie Gom-os faltered against Lady Bulldogs Alyssa Bornia and Alliah Ragunton in the first doubles match, 6-4, 6-1.

Alex Santos, who suffered an apparent right foot injury, absorbed her first loss in two UAAP seasons in the second singles match against NU’s Elsie Abarquez, 6-3, 6-4.

NU’s tandem of Danna Abad and Rovie Baulete pulled off a 6-3, 6-3 win against Female Tennisters Minette Bentillo and Justine Maneja to extend the final series to Game 3. 

“First time matalo ni Alex [Santos] pero hindi naman namin ine-expect na matalo siya pero siyempre [Elsie] Abarquez is Abarquez,” UST head coach Dennis Sta. Cruz told the Varsitarian. “Pinakita niya kung ano siya at kung ano ang NU na defending champions.”

With UST heading into its rubber match against NU, Sta. Cruz emphasized the importance of teamwork. 

“Teamwork pa rin ang magpapanalo sa’min at the end of the day,” he said. “Iniisip ko pa kung magpapalit kami ng lineup sa Game 3 pero pag-usapan pa namin.”